This appetizer torta is made with chilled polenta, not soft polenta like a pasticciata. It’s as rich as any dessert cake but much simpler and faster. Make it in any size you want, but even this small cake will be enough to serve six uninhibited eaters.
- 3 cups pourable polenta from a fresh batch of Basic Polenta (recipe)
- 4 to 8 tablespoons or more butter
- 3 tablespoons to 1/2 cup or more freshly grated Grana Padano
- ¼ to 1 cup or more crumbled or sliced gorgonzola
- A round mold such as a 6-inch cake pan(at least 2 ½ inches deep ) or a 1-quart soufflé dish, or an 8-inch square pan
When the polenta is fresh and hot, slosh the mold with cold water so it’s damp. Pour in the polenta and level it to form a smooth disk at least 1 ½ inches thick. Chill until solidified, then invert the mold to get out the disk (wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 days if you want).
Heat the oven to 400° when you are ready to make the cake. Slice the disk into three equal round layers (as you would split a cake layer). Place one round on a well-buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet. Dot the surface, lightly or heavily, with bits of butter, using a third of the total, then with half the gorgonzola and a third of the grated Grana Padano.
Place a second polenta layer on the fillings and load it up the same way, using up the gorgonzola. Top with the third polenta round and decorate it with butter and Grana Padano.
Put the sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes-or 45 if the polenta is just out of the fridge- until the top of the cake is sizzling and deep golden and the filling oozes from between the layers. Lift with a wide spatula onto a cake plate. Serve very hot. You might want to bake some halved, cored pears alongside the polenta cake to serve with it.